annie1992_gw

What have you put up in 2020?

annie1992
2 months ago

Hey, I get to start!!!


Today I canned 6 quarts and 1 pint of beef stock, busily cleaning freezers in preparation for the pig that will be processed in the next month or so. I found some short ribs, a package of oxtail, trimmings from a couple of last summer's steaks and some soup bones, put them into my biggest Nesco roaster with onions, carrots and celery, some salt and pepper, a bay leaf. That cooked for 22 hours, then sat in my very cold unheated garage until the fat hardened on the top. Skim that off and can it, and now it takes up pantry space instead of freezer space, LOL. My dog gets the meat bits, mixed with her supper, she's very happy when I make stock.


I also have some grape juice that needs to become jelly, so that might be next...


Anyone else canning/freezing/dehydrating anything?


Annie

Comments (48)

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Hi Annie - long time, etc! I bet your dog was drooling all day in anticipation of the stock leftovers!

    I haven't put up anything since fall but pickled asparagus is only a month or so away, Winter has been pretty mild here so far so I'm already getting the itch to start some seeds. Need to hold off until the end of February though.

    We're heading to a Superbowl watch party to watch the Chiefs on Sunday. It's supposed to be in the 60s sp I'm going to fire up the smoker and do some baby back ribs and wings.

  • matthias_lang

    Rescued less than a bunch of celery that was starting to sag. Blanched and dried it.


    Rehydrated store bought elderberries to extract juice for possible medicinal use. Canned it because, the last time I did that, it spoiled in the fridge awaiting use.


    Still have summer plums in the freezer waiting to be turned into jam. Requests for that have been coming in. It has such a bright, happy flavor.

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  • annie1992

    Jack, I see you over on Cooking once in a while, so I know you're still alive and eating well. I've been planning gardens and am getting ready to plant a couple of the superhot peppers, I have seeds for one called "Death Spiral", LOL. They are slow to grow and want a long season, so I'll get those planted in a few weeks, along with the chocolate habaneros. It'll be more than a few weeks until asparagus season here, I'm figuring about 4 months or so. So how are those calves doing?

    Like you, our winter has been mild, I'm not going to complain at all about it. I'm always suspicious, though, and think that eventually we are going to pay...

    Matthias, I have elderberries growing wild at the edge of my hayfield and I have said for the last couple of years that I need to pick a bunch and make my own sambucol. Grandma used to make it, called it tonic and said it was good for colds and flu. I just thought it tasted good, LOL. An we used to make elderberry syrup for pancakes too.

    Somehow I run out of time, though, so maybe this year.....

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Annie - both calves are doing very well but the 3rd cow that was 'exposed' to the marauding bulls last March still hasn't calved. She is the largest of the 3 and I'm sure the oldest so maybe her productive years are over. She didn't calve last round either. We may just take her in when we have the first 2 steer processed this spring. We just started finishing the 4 steers off on cracked corn. 2 of them are a couple months younger and will be processed later in the summer. I'm not sure the old cow will be very good eating so we might just do all burger. What is your experience with the quality of an old Hereford Bessy?

    The other 4 cows that were bred in June were moved to back to another pasture with their last offspring a month ago. It was funny to watch the reunion as the calves all came running to see their mamas.

    I'm a pepper wimp so I don't grow any super hots. I am growing a few in he 30K to 100K heat range. Sugar Rush Peach, Brazilian Starfish, Fish, and maybe Thai and a cayenne. I want to try my hand at fermenting some hot sauce and drying some for powder.

  • annie1992

    Jack, my oldest cow had a calf every year until she was 17, so they stay productive for quite a long time. When she was 18 she slipped in the barnyard and hurt her back, and then she became two nice tenderloins and a bunch of hamburger. I cried like crazy, but she was old and the vet said her back would not improve. I also just had a 6 year old processed, again it was two really nice tenderloins and a lot of hamburger. She was half Highland and had some massive horns. Nothing else on the place has horns and she knew how to use hers, she made life miserable for every other animal there. I, however, was very fond of her, and so it was another couple of days of tears, but the rest of the herd doesn't miss her at all.

    Anyway, I've had cows that were productive until they were 20 or so, and If your old cow has had calves before I'm not sure why she's not being bred, unless the timing is just all wrong.

    Most of the time the calves run to meet the rest of the herd, but this last one I had just wanted to stand in the barn and let us feed him, LOL, and he still follows Elery around begging for a treat. Not an aggressive bone in that one, at least right now. He is a bull, though, even though he's a small one, and so I always stay watchful.

    I'm also a pepper wimp, but I make pepper relish and hot sauce and Elery loves the super hots, I sure don't know why. And so I grow them, just to prove I can!

    Annie


  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    January is marmalade season here. The Sevilles are only around briefly.

  • CA Kate z9

    floral, I was out checking the kumquats and they are ready to be made into marmalade. I'll be doing that one day this week.

    I did make another 8 pint jars of chicken stock from a pound of feet from WFs and an already roasted hen from the grocery; just add a lot of vegetables and cook for a few hours.... yum. I do love being able to pull out a jar of my own stock from the freezer any time I want.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    Wish we could grow our own citrus here!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Aldi had very nice Asparagus on sale here for $1.79/lb. It wasn't as thick as I like for pickling so I only bought a couple pounds to cook on the grill. It shouldn't be long before the nice thick spears from MX start to show up in the stores. I only have 9 empty 24 oz. jars right now so I might have to use wide mouth quarts for a batch or 2.

  • annie1992

    Jack, Aldi here had it too, for $1.79, but it was that tiny little pencil thin stuff, so I passed. I'm hoping for a big crop this spring.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Annie - I just might be able to harvest enough asparagus from my garden in a 3-4 day span that I would have enough for a pickling batch. It takes 8 lbs. to fill 6 - 24 oz. jars. My 2 beds with Purple Passion will be 5 years old and just hitting their stride. I'll probably make 2 batches from store bought in March.

  • annie1992

    I bought asparagus last year when it was fresh and local, and I pickled that. Somehow we managed to eat every spear of asparagus I harvested, go figure. Half of the asparagus bed was 3 years old and the other half 2 years old, so I didn't want to pick too heavily. This year, though, if the asparagus will cooperate, I'm ready to go full tilt!

    Annie

  • CA Kate z9

    I made the Kumquat Marmalade.... really good this year. 7 beautiful jars. Two have already found new homes.


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Kate - that looks really good!! I can't say that I have ever eaten a kumquat but I understand they are rather sour. Do you add a sweetener to the marmalade?

    I just finished a batch of pickled gus and they are cooling on the counter. I made 3 wide mouth quarts and 2 pint and a halves. Pictures to come. I bought a couple extra pounds to grill with strip steaks and shrimp for dinner.

  • CA Kate z9

    Jack

    Kumquats: the peel is sweet and the inside very sour... and pithy. I take out the insides; then chop up the peels; add some good-tasting orange juice, sugar and pectin; bring to a boil; and jar.

    I LOVE grilled asperagus. Right now all we have are the very thin ones, so I don't bother to buy them. Here in CA it is Spring, so we should be getting the bigger ones in the stores soon. Can't wait.

  • annie1992

    Jack, you've beaten me, I am just starting to see asparagus in the stores and it's not very nice looking. Of course, we are having highs in the 20s and lows in the single digits, so just having some peppers growing on the porch is making me anxious to get outside and play in the dirt.

    Kate, I've had kumquats. Once. I was told to just stick them in my mouth and eat them peel and all, and that's what I did. I never thought of making marmalade, that sounds yummy.

    Here I am cleaning freezers again, so I canned 5 quarts of beef broth, more tomorrow.

    Annie

  • led_zep_rules

    Nothing yet this year, but I did can blueberry jam and blackberry jam in December.

  • annie1992

    Oh, hey, and I forgot, we put 200+ pounds of pork in the freezer last weekend. We used to raise them ourselves, but has stopped doing that and get them from a local farm instead.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Annie - I'm envious of your pork! You have some mouth watering pork chops in your future!

    A co-worker that used to work at Farmland which is head quartered here in KC still has friends that work there that he can get the employee wholesale discount for him. He is going to get me a 50 lb. case of baby back ribs for around $100. Pretty good deal I think!

    Kate - What I bought was mostly pretty good sized spears but nothing like I get from my Purple Passion bed. I probably won't start harvesting home grown until some time in early April here. The grilled gus we had with dinner was a nice treat and there was some left over that I brought with my lunch today.

    This weekend's pickled asparagus. I should have bought a couple more pounds to fill another quart because I had enough Mrs. Wages brine left over for another jar. Next time.


  • CA Kate z9

    I found decent sized spears in the grocery yesterday and so treated myself to a bunch. I see grilled lamb chops and asperagus for tonight's dinner.

  • annie1992

    Jack, I think that is a really good buy, especially since a pig only has just so many ribs, and grilling season is coming fast!

    That asparagus looks good, but mine won't be ready until at least mid-May. I still have milk crates of canned goods that I did last fall, and I'm trying to use them up before I start again, but I don't know if I'll accomplish that, LOL.

    Well, you never know if you are going to have a "bad year" for the garden, so I like to keep 2 years worth just in case...

    I will admit that I've been "hoarding" the last couple jars of pickled asparagus, so we can have it at Easter, then shortly after that I can start more!

    Annie

  • nancyjane_gardener

    Well, after a couple of years in our house with a peach and cherry tree, I finally pulled some of them out of the freezer and made jam. SO easy! AND yummy! No going back!

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    I bought another 11 lbs. of real nice asparagus yesterday to pickle another batch. Only $1.69/lb. I'll do 3 quarts and 3 pint and a halves this time. Getting ready to start now so I can have it out of the way before the beautiful sunny 65 degree begins.

    It's 3 hours later. I just finished the asparagus. It's still a bit cool outside so I'll wait another hour or 2 before heading out to the garden. I need to pull the mulch off my potato beds so they can warm up and dry out. I bought my seed potatoes yesterday...Yukon Gold, Kennebec, and French Fingerling this year. I cut down on potatoes by one bed so I can grow 5 more tomatoes. Don't really know why I need more but there's so many new varieties I want to try!

  • CA Kate z9

    Hunted all over for my juicer and couldn't find it so went out and got a new one. This afternoon I juiced: Navel Oranges - 8 cups of juice; Cara Cara Oranges - 4 cups ; and the last of the Meyer Lemons - 2 cups. All will be frozen for future reference.

    Glad that is done!

    Jack, do you plant your seed potatoes on Good Friday - or thereabouts?

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Kate - that juice sounds really good! I bet you will find your old juicer any day now since you bought the new one.

    I always try to plant my potatoes on the weekend nearest St Patrick's day. Since Easter can vary by about a month it wouldn't make sense to me to time planting potatoes on Good Friday. In colder climates planting potatoes about 1 month before your average last frost date is the rule.

  • CA Kate z9

    Which would explain my ‘Good Friday’ reference.... I started out growing potatoes in Minnesota, then Michigan, then Wisconsin, all much farther north than you. I don’t remember growing potatoes while growing up in Nebraska. Now I just plant whenever there are sprouts on the market potatoes, and they seem to do just fine despite the heat.

  • annie1992

    Kate, my Grandpa was from Canada and he always said to plant potatoes on Good Friday too. I didn't, because sometimes the ground was still frozen on Good Friday!

    Jack, I didn't find any asparagus here so I cured and Elery smoked our very first batch of beef bacon. We cut off an end and fried it and it tastes remarkably like....well....bacon. I used a brisket, cured it for a week, then smoked it. It's the the refrigerator tonight, it'll be sliced tomorrow and I'll come back and post some pictures.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Annie - That bacon sounds delish! I don't recall ever having beef bacon before. I know I'm not a fan of turkey bacon.

    I might have to get your brine recipe and Elery's smoking details after we process the steer.

  • matthias_lang

    This week my Aldi had $1.19 a pound asparagus and it was thick spears. We made 15 small jars of pickles.


    What are you all flavoring your asparagus pickles with? The recipe in the USDA canning guide looks boring with just garlic, dill, hot pepper. I've been using a recipe calling for sugar, garlic, nutmeg, coriander, black pepper, allspice, and just love those pickles.

  • annie1992

    I'm sorry I'm so late, but I do have pictures of the beef bacon:

    Jack, you should try it, it tastes a lot like.....well.....bacon, LOL. I'm not a fan of turkey bacon either, it has a strange texture and odd fake flavor. This tastes like bacon, and the texture isn't exactly the same, it's a little chewier, or stringier, or something, but it's much closer than turkey bacon has ever come!

    It was pretty easy, and since we raise beef but not pigs, we used our grass fed beef, no shopping for a pork belly...

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    matthias_lang - I cheat and usually use the Mrs. Wages Kosher Dill mix and add 4-5 peppercorns and a couple garlic cloves to each jar for asparagus. I also add 1/4 tsp. of pickle crisp per jar.

    My Aldis had that same price last week but they were sold out when I stopped in. Not that I really needed to pickle more but I probably would have bought a few lbs. to cook. Another month and my gus beds should start producing. Yay!

    Annie - that beef bacon looks really good! We decided that we are going to process the old cow that hasn't calved in the 2 years since we bought her. She is bullying the rest of the herd especially the young ones and causing chaos at times. I bet her brisket will make a lot of bacon!

    Speaking of pork belly...has Elery ever made pork belly burnt ends? They are to die for! And they might kill you if you make a habit of eating them!

    Here is the recipe I used. https://howtobbqright.com/2017/04/17/pork-belly-burnt-ends/

    There are other variations but they are basically just about the same. I'd guess it would work just as well with a brisket point.

  • missemerald

    I haven't put anything up yet, but I was looking at my freezer in preparation for summer and wondered... is it possible to can ham? This is one of those fully cooked (not brined, cured, spiral sliced, or smoked) ones that you heat and eat. I can handle the other meats in the freezer but I wondered about the ham. And if it is cannable, are the results worth doing or not? I keep seeing recipes for all sorts of meats, but not ham. Thanks!

  • canfan

    Unfortunately there are no tested recipes for canning cured meats... some tested recipes have a very small amount of ham added for flavoring purposes. Here is a link that explains this in more detail. https://www.healthycanning.com/home-canning-cured-meats-bacon-brined-corned-ham-etc/


  • annie1992

    Oh my, Jack, that looks wonderfully unhealthy! I noticed that the introduction actually said something about brisket points too, so I assumed they started with beef brisket. Although mine is grass fed and so it's pretty lean, this is how that brisket looked:

    So, plenty of fat there for whatever purpose. I think I'm going to use your recipe when my stepson comes to visit at the end of the month, he's been doing "keto" along with his wife, and they'd be very happy. They'll just have to deal with the sugar, LOL.

    Annie


  • annie1992

    No one else is preserving anything? I went through the freezer to try to find whatever needs using and came across a couple of chicken carcasses and two bags of chicken wings from last year, so I canned 5 quarts and a pint of chicken stock.

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    ^^^ Such a waste of chicken wings! lol

    There are 3 big tom turkeys walking thru my backyard as I type. They are NOT keeping 'social distancing'. I think they know turkey season hasn't started yet. Still 4 more weeks. I have a turkey in the freezer that my neighbor won at a casino and gave me a few months ago. I need to thaw it out and smoke it one of these days.

  • naturegirl_2007 5B SW Michigan

    Jack, several tom turkeys were displaying early in the morning in a cornfield near here. I may drive by there again tomorrow and stop and watch the show. But I won't be harvesting any :) I think there is some already cooked turkey leftover from a month or so ago in my freezer. I should get it out soon and use it in something. Hmmmm.

  • annie1992

    Jack, I don't like chicken skin, and wings have very little of anything else, so it's not the first choice here, LOL. I raise a couple dozen chickens every year and the wings are always the last thing to get eaten, although sometimes they do become soup. You know, I grew up eating chicken wings, because the farmers always ate the parts they could sell, like wings and backs, or oxtails when they slaughtered cattle. Now those pieces are bringing top dollar!

    I'd been seeing turkeys here too, then suddenly I don't. I think maybe today's visitor might be causing them some second thoughts. It's a female and either has pups or is about to have pups, and it's been hunting the squirrels at the bird feeder. Today she stole the suet cake I'd put out for the woodpeckers and I just let her take it. Better her than last week's raider, a small black bear who took the suet, feeder and all, and just left with it, LOL. I never did find the feeder, just the ring that it hung from, I had to buy a new feeder!

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Naturegirl - The Toms are strutting around here already too, but I'm not sure if the hens want anything to do with them just yet. Usually the hens start nesting in early to mid April here.

    Annie - the price of wings now is just stupid. I usually buy them at WM where they sell 4 lb. bags of just the drumettes for around $10.

    That's a good looking red fox! There was one running around here last year that had some pups but then I think she was hit by a car and then the pups were running around the neighborhood playing with the dogs. They didn't last long.

    I'm glad we don't have bears around here. They stay down in the southern third of Missouri for the most part. I wish the armadillos would stay down there too. The nasty little critters have moved into my area in the last decade. They seem to enjoy getting flattened by cars...we call them 'road kill on the half shell' hahaha

  • annie1992

    The bears don't really bother much, but they are just coming out of hibernation now and they are hungry, so suet feeders are a big favorite. In another month or so you'd never see one, they really don't like to be around people, although they do like garbage cans. I'm glad we don't have armadillos, although we do have opossums. Since they eat something like 5,000 ticks per year each, I'll keep them, as long as they stay out of my hen house...

    I really can't believe the price of chicken wings here, and beef tongue was $20 each, nearly $9 a pound. Oxtails are unbelievable, it's just crazy, they're more expensive than Porterhouse!

    Annie

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Annie - I guess we shouldn't let the Amish butcher keep the tails and tongues then huh?

  • CA Kate z9

    I too remember when wings, tails, tongue, hocks, shin bones and other 'ends' where almost given away. I remember going into a butcher in CT and asking about Sweet Breads. The butcher said they threw that 'junk' away but they might still have some if I really wanted them. A fellow customer perked up and said he'd take some too if there was enough. Next time I went in they had cleaned Sweet Breads in the case at some ridiculously high price.

    Love your fox photo. We had so much wildlife, including foxes and turkeys, when we lived in the country, but we didn't have bears.... at least that I ever saw. I do miss the antics of the Bobcats; and the trails of Momma Quail followed by a string of babies with Dad bringing up the rear. ( Their rather large population was probably why we had the Bobcats. ) The Rattlers I could have done without.

    One thing I always miss this time of year is picking wild Miner's Lettuce. It's kinda like spinach and uses are the same. It is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins, Little kids would come for Easter; I'd give each a basket and tell them to go out and pick the round leaves. Gave them something to do for about an hour. I actually would plant it as a crop if I had the space. I don't imagine I'd get nearly enough in one of my pots.

  • annie1992

    Jack, if you have anyone who wants those parts, you definitely should keep them. I save the tongues for Peppi or we grind them and add them to sausage. The oxtails make a nice, silky textured stew. Because I have customers who specifically want those things, I make sure they get packaged correctly. The man who does my on farm slaughter sometimes keeps the heart and liver, but not usually, mostly those get used for dog treats here. He also keeps the hides, at one point he was getting about $20 per hide, but I think that's gone down. I do like liver but Elery does not. Molly, our shelter dog loves it, LOL, so here it's the "farm dog's share".

    Annie

  • cindy_7

    Hello, all. Two days ago I was able to freeze four pints of chicken stock. Used my last whole chicken plus veggies in the Instant Pot for it. We will probably finish the rest of the chicken tonight as chicken salad.

  • annie1992

    Kate, I really enjoy watching the wildlife, except that big fat groundhog that I saw at the pole barn today. He's just waiting for the garden to grow, then he'll have a buffet, ugh. We also have bobcats and Bobwhite Quail, and coyotes and an occasional cougar. We do have Massasauga rattlers, but they are endangered and few in number and I haven't been able to find any for several years, even when I actively seek them. Lots of puff adders, though, pretending they are cobras, LOL.

    No canning today, but I did receive the jar lids I ordered!

    Annie


  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    Cindy - I might have to get one of those instant pots. With a freezer full of beef coming in early May it would come in handy for cooking roasts.

    Annie - I watched a groundhog roaming through my yard yesterday while I was on a skype meeting...ugh is right! I just set out a couple dozen of their favorite food...brassicas. I propped some fencing over them to protect from deer but it won't stop the whistle pig. I need to keep my shotgun handy for when it makes another appearance. It's likely living under my shed.

    My son brought home a box of various canning lids that he bought at an estate sale last year. Some of the boxes look pretty old. There must be close to 200 total.

  • cindy_7

    Jack - I love my Instant Pot!!

    I also ordered and received my canning lids this week. I'm ready!

  • annie1992

    Jack, I'm on a quest to get that groundhog before gardening. My old and fat shelter dog thinks she's a hunter and a farm dog, and she hunted him all day today while we worked on expanding the chicken coop for the new babies who should be here tomorrow, they're a day late. He'd stick his nose out from under the pole barn, then venture out and she'd chase him back in. I'm hoping he decides it's too much work and goes away, but I'm sure he won't. Or she, it's probably a female and will have a litter of babies that I'll have to contend with too.

    I've used some pretty old lids successfully, they seem to have more of the sealing material than the newer ones. Sometimes, though, they've been stored badly and the sealing compound is too hard or something, and then they don't seal well. Good luck with yours!

    Annie


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